(Reuters) – U.S. oil producer Conocophillips reported a higher first-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by a surge in crude prices following heavy sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine.

The company said it also increased its targeted 2022 returns to shareholders by an additional 25%, to a new total of $10 billion.

Crude prices rallied to a decade high during the reported quarter after the United States and other countries imposed a raft of sanctions against top crude oil exporter Russia, at a time fuel demand is nearing pre-pandemic levels.

Benchmark Brent crude, which broke above the $100 mark in the quarter, was last trading at $110.5 a barrel.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

Conoco’s total output for the quarter ended March 31 was 1.75 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), up 220,000 boepd from a year earlier

The company said prices for its oil and gas segment rose nearly 70% to $76.99 per barrel of oil equivalent in the quarter.

The Houston-based company’s adjusted earnings rose to $4.29 billion, or $3.27 per share, from $902 million, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Shounak Dasgupta)